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The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that the University of Michigan preliminary December sentiment index suggests that "US consumer confidence improved for the third straight month in December, offering some hope for retailers during the key holiday season. Consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of overall economic output in the U.S., and retailers are hoping a strong jobs market and low gas prices could entice shoppers to spend during the final month of the year."

The index, according to the story, "rose to 91.8 from a final November reading of 91.3 ... Consumer sentiment in early December was slightly below the sentiment index’s average of 92.9 during 2015, although the year-to-date average is the highest reading since 2004."
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